Saturday, February 28, 2009


I grew up an army brat and moved practically every year of my childhood and now thanks to facebook I'm back in touch with my sixth grade class above. This pic was taken in Santo Domingo. I remember every single one of these kids. I'm seated third from the left with the funny expression on my face.

L to R starting at the top: Roberto; Mario; Alberto (Iowa), Mike (Georgia); Jose; Jordi; Chuck; Julie (Kosovo); Valinda; Judith; Ingrid (Georgia); Jacqueline; Kathy; Isanec (NYC); Mary Lou our teacher (New Orleans); Wendy; Pam; Leslie (WDC-Arlington); Patricia; Linda; Ana; Catherine (Utah).

Notice the stats: 7 boys to 14 girls ... 1:2

Monday, February 23, 2009

October 7, 1930

Dear Katherine.

Here's the promised letter and I'm not so sure you're going to like it. I feel like weeping on somebody's sympathetic shoulder and so I'll just expand on paper.

I'm playing "Little White Lies" and "Confessin' that I Love You," & "Moon Song" on the vic. And staring at "If I could be with You One Hour Tonight." There's no comfort in looking at the moon. To me its so cold and far-away just like "Pee Wee" that I just pass away at one glance. My imagination can't conjure up any comforting thought or image. If only he loved me like I love him. I might as well wish for Heaven on earth. the two are one and the same. Snap out of it. The world is wide. But that sage advice is no good in this mood and telling myself I'm a damn fool is so much wasted breath and energy.

Have taken so much gym that I'm bound to die tomorrow. Went to formal gym late and got squelched. Dottie is good at that. And ran myself down in hockey, besides getting hit in the head. This is one tale of woe but I warned you. There's no ray of sunshine on the dark clouds and I just hate school. and all in all I'm one most unhappy little girl.

We have a P.E. meeting tonight and I'm not even excited. I don't even know any of the new girls and care less. Have got more studying than I can shake a stick at. Even have to make out a course of study - and its got to be plausible 'cause I've got to teach it, after its made out. Tough world. Wish I'd get a great big break that would last a life time. Big order!!

Oh well. hope you haven't caught the blues from this indigo letter.

Love, 'Cile.

Blog Note: Lucile posted this letter two days before her 20th birthday.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

September 29, 1930

Dear Katherine,

Box no 236. Please write. I'm homesicker than the devil.

If you see Pee Wee! I don't know what you should tell him - the angel face. I can't stand it if I don't see him soon. Regardless of what he thinks I'm going to call him next week-end.

My schedule has scared me spitless. I'm going to have to study hard - and I haven't studied any in years.

My one burning desire is to leave this place. I hate it! Write please.

Love, 'Cile

Saturday, February 14, 2009

slumdog millionaire

I've now seen the best 2008 movie, the one that should win big at the Oscars next week. slumdog isn't a deep-thoughts film but it brings to the world stage a visual story about the terrible poverty that exists in India today. A few years ago my sister lived in India. I didn't have the courage to visit her because in reality children do live on the street and beg for a living. Little girls do carry babies for more sympathy and I can only hope grown men don't intentionally blind children in order to gain larger sums of money. I didn't want to go to India as a tourist and seeing this film from a lush arts theatre isn't really any different, but somehow the experience left me hopeful.

slumdog is about three kids, the three musketeers; one is older and wiser, one honest, and the third dependent. A strong sense of commitment hold them together: Salim to his brother and Jamal to Latika. The story has an Oliver Twist theme with street children and gang leaders, and a rags-to-riches ending that gives the illusion that misfortunate orphans can actually better their position in India. I like to think Mumbai is in a Dickens-age industrial period that will lead toward a time when little kids have better resources available to them.

You can find a well-written review here, taken from NPR's Web site. You can read about how two of the younger actors actually live in the Mumbai slums here and here. And you can read an article about how slum dwellers resent the movie's title here.

Take the Red Line to Friendship Heights and walk 15 minutes over to the Avalon Theatre on Connecticut Ave. It's a movie worth seeing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hideous Kinky (1992)

In Hideous Kinky, Esther Freud writes a fictionalized version of her childhood in Morocco during the 1960s. I rarely watch movies so have no idea why I was drawn to rent the DVD version of this story, but the film is so stunningly beautiful that I was propelled to purchase the book a few days ago.

I understand most non-adult narrators are either teens or "tweens" because authors want to make use of introspective thought and awareness. This book is written from the perspective of a four-year old. There's a lot an older child would question that Lucy, the narrator, simply accepts. For example, we won't find out why Mum left London for Africa nor do we really know what happened to Lucy's father. We have to accept the story as it is told.

Mum can be viewed as a controversial character. Her warmth and ability to adjust easily to a foreign culture is admirable but she neglects the education of her children and doesn't bother with some of their basic needs. Hideous Kinky would be a difficult read if other women in the story didn't pick up where Mum leaves off. 

To find on amazon: Hideous Kinky: A Novel

Friday, February 6, 2009

August 18, 1930

Dear Katherine,

Forgot the evening dress - but - and here's a long explanation. its not until Fri. night and no formal evening clothes.

Would you be especially generous & let me have your black & white chiffon - if you don't need it - You can have just anything of mine at any ole time - if fact my wardrobe such as it is, is at your command ---

Love, Cile

Thursday, February 5, 2009

August 14, 1930

Dearest Katherine,

Fifty + nothing + five + 1/5 of eight = greatest thing in the world
L + 0 + V + E = Love

I leave it to you whether its the greatest thing in the world. I believe you are more of an authority of the subject than I. Anyway, thats the way some one figured.

It all depends on a number of things when I'll see you, such as initiation, our Knopp Farm party, etc. Has your "husband" gone to camp yet? If he leaves 'fore I see him tell him goodbye for me - that I've enjoyed seeing him and the usual thing.

Am so glad Hatcher missed me - He'll appreciate me so much more when I do show up. Somebody ought to appreciate me and it had just as soon be him. Glad the bridge party went off o.k. I'd like to have been there - but this bunch had invited me once before and I'd refused 'cause I was going to your house. I just didn't feel that I could refuse a second time as all of them are pretty good friends of mine. And as I didn't refuse them and my own gang of this summer are going Friday night I've already been warned that I'll be in disgrace if I don't go then, too.

You're a big help. D. Dix herself. I guess maybe I'd get along better if I'd grow up and get a little sense. But its so much fun to be young and foolish!!!

Earle Parsons is a pain in the neck. The very idea. He's an accomplished liar. Can just see the young sister entertaining him. He's very good practice for her - has a fairly good line. What do you think of her. tickles me - there's not so very much change though.

How does Chris like Bob? I still think the same of Ben. These big strong men!!! Do Rena and Ben still seem to get along o.k. (I'm turning green-eyed with envy.) Don't believe that I'm feeling foolish.

Judge my letter from Peabody was an ad on a fall bulletin. hang on to it. so I can see if its useful in my business.

We pledged last Monday and I'm having great fun with the pledges. They're wearing blue hair-bows, carrying umbrellas and their books in a market basket and today they're wearing different colored hose.

Can't think of any startling news. Guess you can read the parts of this you deem proper to the rest of the family. I'm kind of busy writing me some term papers. Should be at one now entitled "Safety in Swimming: A Talk to Girl Scouts 13 to 14 yrs of age" - But pleasure calls before duty and I'm catching up on my correspondence. We have exactly eight more days of classes. If I could think of an idea for a poster I'd be all set. Just make me a poster and write two term papers. That's all - one of 'em's got to be 15 pages.

Lady, it's been a long time since I've seen you. Don't you miss me? My foolishness & noise and raving?

Well I'll be seeing you soon - maybe Sat. morning - tell you after I talk to Birdsong and provided I can finish up the work before then.

Heaps of love,

P.S. I shall now trip the light fantastic down stairs and wield the iron so as I have some clothes to wear.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Elle Decor

American Elle Decor is my favorite magazine. I have so many issues saved and gave up my subscription only because I was running out of space to store them.

Take a look at the March 2009 cover. I love this room! And I can sign myself up for the next two years of Elle Decor for only $15. Seriously, this is the first magazine of its type that has a variety of decorating styles, good writing, and a letter from the editor I actually look forward to reading.

And on magazines in general, up until now, all of the banks and businesses that have closed or failed didn't surprise me. Usually, the product wasn't desirable or the customer service was lousy. I'm surprised, though, that the shelter magazine Domino folded this month. It seemed to have a good following. I must support the ones I love and help keep Elle Decor in business.